March 1, 2007 in Nation/World

NYC council approves symbolic bill on racial slur

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

NEW YORK – New York declared a commonly used racial slur off limits to all races Wednesday in a purely symbolic resolution prompted by the common, casual use of the word in hip-hop music, comedy and street slang.

“People are using it out of context,” said Leroy Comrie, a black city councilman who sponsored the unanimously passed measure. “People are also denigrating themselves by using the word, and disrespecting their history.”

New York’s resolution is not binding and merely calls on residents to stop using the slur. Leaders of the nation’s largest city also hope to set an example.

Rudis Mata, 21, of New York, said it was pointless to ban the word if city had no plans to enforce it, adding that he thinks it’s a violation of free speech.

“I don’t necessarily think people should ban the word, but it’s a derogatory term and it shouldn’t be used,” he said. “It’s different from other curse words. It has a history.”

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